Honduras brought to standstill

Original source:

Mass strikes against the coup in Honduras have continued to sweep the Latin American nation.

A statement from the Frente Nacional de Resistencia - Resistance Front Against the Coup d'Etat - that was released to Caracas-based Telesur news revealed that all the country's airports were now closed after ground crews joined other airport workers in walking out.

As a result, the Honduran national airline TACA has been forced to suspend all national and international flights, Telesur stated.

The airport workers are the latest to join an indefinite general strike that is taking hold against the de facto regime led by Roberto Micheletti.

Teachers who have been on strike for eight days and hospital workers who have refused to work for the last four days were also joined by electricity workers downing tools at the weekend.

Union leader Ramon Garcia declared that 'we are now on an indefinite strike until the democracy that was interrupted by the coup d'etat is restored.'

The strikes are a clear sign that the regime led by Mr Micheletti, who was installed as an 'interim' leader by the Honduran military after President Manuel Zelaya was arrested and exiled on June 28, has not succeeded in imposing his authority on the country.

Mr Zelaya, a wealthy rancher who was elected as the candidate of the centre-right Liberal party four years ago, had moved to the left during his presidency to embrace the Venezuelan-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas economic bloc and prioritise the fight against poverty and illiteracy.

Such steps alienated the traditionally corrupt conservative elite that had kept Honduras's poverty rate one of the highest in Latin America. But rather than wait for the next presidential elections in November - in which Mr Zelaya was constitutionally not permitted to stand for a second term - the military deposed him.

Mr Micheletti claims that he is now consolidating his control of Honduras and his deputy foreign minister Martha Lorena Alvarado insists that 'the more time that goes by, the stronger we become.'

But one of the leaders of the Frente Nacional, Juan Barahona, countered the regime's claims to assert that the mass strikes taking hold across Honduras 'shows that the popular resistance against the de facto regime is gaining